Biostatistics provides the essential analytical methods necessary for public health and medical research. Biostatisticians formulate scientific questions, plan and evaluate study designs, collect and interpret data, and managed procedures. Through a combination of statistics, probability, mathematics and computing skills, biostatisticians are a necessary component to all biomedical research. They ensure that research is on a solid statistical footing while improving health and reducing illness.
From new technologies and experiments to study designs, there are many new advances in biomedical research everyday. Datasets are exploding in size. Biostatisticians are needed to develop statistical methods for clinical trials, observational studies, longitudinal studies and genomics.
Different types of studies
- Clinical Trials: Study the evaluation of treatments, screening and prevention methods in humans. Study designs differ (e.g. randomized, blind, placebo).
- Epidemiological: Study the causes and origins of disease in human populations. They identify a group of people, monitor disease and look for associations over time. Study designs differ (e.g. case-control, cohort).
- Human Genetics: Study the genetic differences associated with disease state(s).
- Genomics: Study biological activity of genes associated with diseases and treatments.
- Spatial Studies: Study geographical distribution of disease/risk factors.
Research problems are diverse. Biostatisticians are involved in research that studies the factors affecting heart and lung disease, cancer, dental health and genetics influencing common complex diseases, and tests new drugs to combat AIDS.
Career opportunities are endless
Currently, there is a shortage of biostatisticians across the United States. Biostatisticians with a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree can easily find excellent career opportunities in government; medical centers; pharmaceutical, biotech and health care service industries; and academia. Starting salaries for master's-level graduates range from $35,000 to $65,000 and for PhD-level graduates range from $55,000 to $85,000.
Places our graduates are hired include:
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